I’ve mentioned a few times that my big brother is the reason I got into genre. He is also the entire reason I write this column.
My brother Rob is disabled in numerous ways. Reading, for him, has always been a way to relate to the world, feel like he’s less alone, and help me understand his perspective. Rob is a hell of a guy, but due to severe seizures a few years ago, he can’t read anymore, which breaks my heart. He was the one who collected books and showed me what a wealth of information and experiences are in books. Books have helped me understand him more than I ever imagined I could.
I had a conversation on the phone with Rob to talk to him about what the genre means to him, and why he thinks that disabilities are important in speculative fiction. It was really enlightening to talk openly about disabilities in the genre with the person who got me into the genre in the first place. It was also really neat to see how disabilities are represented in the genre from a disabled person’s point of view.
Thanks to Rob for taking the time to do this interview. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Continue reading →
Even if you haven’t read A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin, you’ve probably heard the name Tyrion Lannister thrown around a bit. Tyrion is, dare I say it, one of the most memorable, compelling characters in current epic fantasy. In fact, he is so compelling that I’ve had to make a stipulation on my Special Needs in Strange Worlds guest posts: Please do not talk about Tyrion Lannister. He is a fantastic character, but if I let everyone talk about him, that’s the only person anyone will ever talk about. (Full disclosure: I have also had to make that rule about Miles Vorkosigan, but I haven’t read those books yet so I’m not really qualified to talk about him.)
Speculative Fiction is a genre that has a tendency to overcompensate for disabilities. Some common examples are the blind person who is also a seer. There’s the guy with an injured leg that just happens to have superhuman strength or an abnormal level of loyalty; and the character everyone thinks is insane but actually sees the truth of all things. These are just a few of the common tropes dealing with disability that I run across frequently in my books. While I understand the need for authors to have an “in” regarding some of these abilities, or give their readers a reason for them to exist, it often makes me wonder if these disabilities even matter in the grander scope, as they are so overshadowed by the character’s incredible, implausible abilities. Continue reading →
Amazon has the cover art and synopsis of the upcoming reprint novel The Iron King by Maurice Druon, the first book in the The Accursed Kings series that “inspired George R.R. Martin’s epic work”, A Game of Thrones.
Viewers chomping at the bit for the new season of Game of Thrones to begin will enjoy this “illuminating special that revisits the stunning events of Season 1, introduces the major players, and presents a tantalizing peek at Season 2.”
The Hollywood Reporter tells us that HBO has greenlighted the television adaptation of George R.R. Martin‘s Game of Thrones which is based on the first book in his popular A Song of Ice and Fire series:
The premium network has picked up the project for a first-season debut next spring. Nine episodes plus the pilot have been ordered. Production will begin in Belfast this June.
The sprawling tale set in the mythical land of Westeros tells the story of the noble Stark family who become caught up in high court intrigue when patriarch Eddard (played by Sean Bean) becomes the king’s new right-hand man. The four-and-counting books in the series would each be used as one season of the series.
And they go one to describe is as “Sopranos with swords”.
This news, of course, means I will now have to pull the books off the shelf.. Oh, and get HBO.